Connect with us


Drug Abuse Prevalent Among Osun Youths



By Ayobami Agboola

Drugs are commonly used by everybody whether young or old. Drugs are not only useful for keeping human beings healthy, but they are also useful for animals too. It is true that drugs are used for beneficent therapeutic purposes, effective substances for good health, but unfortunately they are now often being abused by people, especially youths. They use it illegally and unlawfully, making them become harmful to the body.

Drug Abuse

Drug abuse is the use of drugs for purposes other than medical rea- sons, thus affecting the individual in a negative way socially, cognitively or physically. While Lewinsohn (2007) defines a drug as any product other than food or water that affects the way people feel, think, see, and behave. It is a substance that due to its chemical nature affects physical, mental and emotional functioning. It can enter the body through chewing, inhaling, smoking, drinking, rubbing on the skin or injection.

Drug abuse amongst the global youth population has become an endemic problem affecting everyone. Addiction leads many people, young people prominent amongst them, into a downward spiral of hopelessness that in some cases ends in death. They range from glue-sniffing street children and teenage ecstasy users, to hard core heroin and cocaine addicts.

Rise in drug abuse

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has revealed that consumption and use of illicit drugs especially by the youth is on the rise in Osun State. According to the NDLEA, drug abuse is prevalent among the young- er generation of people of the state, describing it as a menace.

The NDLEA said the consequences of consumption and use of illicit drugs is fast becoming a threat than anticipated among young people in the state. Speaking with New Telegraph recently in Osogbo, the State Commander of the Agency, Nnadi Chidi, said they have consistently been waging war against drug abuse, consumption, trading and plantation of illicit drugs in the state. Chidi, who spoke on the 2023 International Day Against Drug Abuse, disclosed that the agency between June 2022 to June 2023 ar- rested 315 drug related offenders and seized a total of 4,776.38 kg il- licit drugs in the state.

The NDLEA boss stated that 3.3 hectares of a cannabis sativa farm was also destroyed at Owena Area in Oriade Council Area of the state during the period under review. He said: “A total of 315 suspects, comprising 279 males and 36 females were arrested for drug related offences while the illicit drugs seized weighed 4,776.38644 kg. “Seventy-five of the arrested suspects were counselled and reintegrated back to their families, while 70 suspects were suc- cessfully prosecuted and convicted.

“The seized drugs included; 4,735.033 kg cannabis sativa, 7.909 kg Diazepam, 4.896 kg Tramadol, 0.40956 grms Meth- amphetamine, 0.413grms Rohypnol, 160 grams Benazine, 12.713 kg Skushies, 0.011 grms Molly, 1.8 kg Codeine and 47 grams cocaine.” Chidi explained that the International Day Against Drug Abuse is marked on ev- ery June 26, stating that this year’s theme is: “People First: Stop Stigma and Discrimi- nation, Strengthen Prevention”. He said based on this year’s theme, the focus is on the need to be unbiased and not judgmental about drug users and drug de- pendent individuals, so as to hasten their recovery and attain the goal of a drug free society.


“The society is thus charged to eschew stigmatisation of drug users, discriminating against them discourages users from seeking help and making recovery difficult and a burden to the individual, family and society at large. “Amid global strategy to curtail the men- ace of drug abuse, cases have remained on a rise in recent years. Consequences of drugs are fast becoming more threatening than anticipated especially among young people in Osun State. “The aim of the 2023 campaign is to raise awareness about the importance of treating people who use drugs with respect and em- pathy, offering alternatives to punishment, prioritising prevention and leading with compassion,” Chidi said.

The NDLEA boss charged Nigerians to eschew stigmatisation of drug users, saying discriminating against them discourages users from seeking help and making recovery difficult, which becomes a burden to the individual, family and society at large. He said the command has been ac- tively engaging the public through its enlightenment and has recorded suc- cesses in its drug demand suppression advocacy, also known as ‘WADA’ (War Against Drug Abuse).

“The command, through its WADA campaign, carries out rallies at market places, sensitisation in schools, work places, religious houses and communities, aimed at educating the people about drug abuse and prevailing consequences.” he said. He said NDLEA Headquarters in Abuja has established a drug abuse call centre to broaden access to treatment and rehabilitation. The commander added that the pub- lic can reach the Agency to connect with counsellors and mental health professionals through its 24/7 helpline number 08001020304.

‘Operation Mop-up’

Ahead of the May 29 inauguration, the NDLEA, launched a nationwide raid of drug joints in an exercise code- named ‘Operation Mop Up’ as part of law enforcement efforts to remove enablers of crime and violence in the form of illicit substances and those who deal in them with a view to ensuring peaceful inauguration of new administrations at national and sub-national levels across the country.

Consequently, in Osun State, a number of suspects were arrested while a lot of illicit drugs including metham-phetamine, tramadol, codeine-based syrup, cannabis sativa and various new psychoactive substances among others, were recovered across the state Among the joints busted by the operatives of the Agency are: Aiyegbaju International Market Park, a joint at Ofatedo, Ilesa garage area, College Road in Osogbo, some joints in Ilesa, Ile-Ife, Owena in Oriade Local Government among other joints.

Cleric worried

The Chief Imam of Eripa, Boluwaduro Local Government area of Osun State, Sheik AbdulRosheed Olaniyan has expressed his concern over the prevalent abuse of drugs among the youths in Osun State. Olaniyan, who stated unequivocally the side effects of the illicit drugs and the position of the holy Quran about it, advocated an end to the menace of drug abuse in the state. He stated this while delivering his sermon recently, at Eripa during the Salah festival said the issue of drug abuse had been a source of concern to the people of the state, especially religious leaders “Drug abuse in simple terms is the use of illicit drugs, prescription or over-the-counter drugs for wrong medical purposes, or when it is used in excessive amounts that are harmful to the individual and others. “The use and abuse of drugs is fast be- coming prevalent among adults and youths. Drug abuse has been identified to have di- verse and devastating effects on the safety and progress of society. Apart from its negative social effects such as violent crimes, disruption of the family, child abuse and neglect, it has been associated with some other criminal behaviour such as gang formations, cultism, armed robbery, rape and other social disturbances.” He charged parents to always guild and guard their children against anything capable of ruining their lives.

Govt tasks parents

The Osun State Government has tasked parents to join the fight against drug abuse by offering parental care. According to the government, illicit use of drugs will be reduced to the barest minimum if parents perform their duties and ensure that their children receive proper care and attention. Director of Public Health in the state, Dr. Akeem Bello, stated this in an inter- view with New Telegraph to mark the 2023 World Day Against Drug Abuse. Bello disclosed that drug abuse is prevalent among youths as a result of peer group influence, noting that when a young person is introduced to consump- tion of illicit drugs by his colleague, it is always difficult to stop such a person. According to Bello, broken homes have not been helping the fight against drug abuse among the young people, saying that once father and mother are separated, it is always difficult to keep the children under control. Bello stated that if both father and mother live together in peace and har- mony, it will reflect on their children as they will have parental care which will guide them against social vices.

He said: “Drug abuse is a misuse of drugs and consumption of illicit drugs. It is common among our youths because of peer influence. Peer influence is attached to drug abuse, once they are introduced to the use of drugs; they are going to find it very difficult to stop it. “Parents should be very careful and be willing to provide care for their children. They should look at the way their children behave; if there is any change in attitude, in the behaviour of their children, they should know and take action instantly. “When you have children that don’t stay with you, maybe they stay in the hos- tel; you have to be looking after them and make your children your friends, so that you can easily talk together and advise them on what to do. “In majority of homes where there is disharmony; if the parents are fighting each other, there will be problems and the children will not be happy, and by the time they move outside and begin to stay with their friends, they may start using drugs and it will affect them. So parents have lots of roles to play here.”

Source : New Telegraph